Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed a fire ant colony at Mount Mort, after a landholder reported the suspect nest on his property. Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the nest was found 7.3kms from the nearest site of known infestation, detected at Grandchester earlier this year.
“The infestation was detected by a farm worker, who noticed the ant mound when he drove over it, got out to take a look and recognised the ants as fire ants,” the Minister said. “We are investigating the infestation to find out how the fire ants got there and have submitted samples for genetic testing.
“We’re grateful to these members of the public who noticed the suspect ants and reported them to us. “We need every Southeast Queenslander to remain alert to fire ants and report them to Biosecurity Queensland.” Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre director Neil O’Brien said Fire ants are coppery brown in colour with a black or dark-brown abdomen. “There can be a number of different-sized ants in the one nest – anywhere from two to six millimetres,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Nests are usually dome shaped with no visible entry holes. “This site will be used to conduct more trials of the remote sensing technology the program is conducting.
“Biosecurity Queensland are also on the ground conducting surveillance in the area to search for more fire ants. “September is the start of the treatment season for fire ants, so we’ll be treating the area surrounding this infestation by helicopter as soon as the weather warms up.
“Residents can call Biosecurity Queensland now to register their properties for an aerial treatment. “Biosecurity Queensland has a dedicated community engagement officer located in the Ipswich area. “This officer will be continuing to work with local businesses and the community to inform them of the new detection.”
To report suspect ant sightings, call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or for more information visit http://www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au Media 3239 6530